Thursday, September 28, 2006

CNET launches 'Second Life' presence, News at

Must check out Cnet's new pad in Second Life.

Lots of work to do on it yet, they say, but...
For the time being, the space will be used for a series of interviews with virtual-world luminaries, and as a forum for reporters to come and talk about stories they've written.
Sounds interesting. They claim to be the first mainstream media organisations to have a functional and permanent space there. They are still not the first media orgs in there. They are kind of celebrating the fact that mainstream media is pretty slow in catching on to these things. Check out Eric Rice's interview about it.

And that reminds me of this.

Alan Yentob. The man with the longest job title in the world. Director of Drama, Entertainment and CBBC and BBC's Creative Director. "Hello, I am big media. Can you tell me why you strange people who I don't understand like these YouTubes things please? I can't possibly go on there myself in for hours to understand it. *sigh*

Debunking the MySpace Myth of 100 Million Users at Forever Geek

Forevergeek has an interesting little analysis that digs into some of the facts behind the inflated figures on Myspace.

The latest annoyance has been the self-indulgent claim of web 2.0 bloggers that MySpace has 100,000,000 users. Interestingly, this specific headline says accounts, but the article and subsequent articles all say users. I would say that anyone with half a clue knows that 'accounts' are not the same as 'users', but that would be obvious, wouldn't it?

He concludes that the figures have been blown up by 133%, yet the mediasphere (so, big media and the blogosphere) continue to take them as fact unthinkingly.

This is something that has irked me for a while: you see this happening across all kinds of websites and it is nothing new. People commonly set up accounts which lay dormant and neglected - I know a lot of people who do that, myself included. But people often actively choose to have multiple "faces" because they can - like a public and private persona. This is especially so for virtual worlds such as Second Life.

To me, Myspace is in danger of becoming like networked spam or something similar. A PR clubhouse. I know it has a different feel, but it is Spam 2.0. There are so many bands and brands there, my concept of authenticity is getting muddled. See avatar marketing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

MTV's games

First, the news earlier in the week was that MTV had stuck its foot into virtual worlds by creating Virtual Laguna Beach in, to run alongside the TV show.

Now, the New York Times writes that MTV Will Acquire Maker of Music-Oriented Games.

It is buying Harmonix, which made the PS2 game GuitarHero.

'It is about people coming to MTV who are passionate about music and wanting to interact on deeper and deeper levels,” said Christina Norman, the president of MTV. 'It’s not just about wearing the T-shirt.'
Shame it's not in Second Life, but maybe it had something to do with the teen grid and conflicts in ages blah.

Anywway, I think it is a brave attempt to update themselves. Let's see how it goes. So GuitarHero for SL?

Checking out Susi\'s machinima gallery...Quite peaceful!

posted by Doctoe Schnook on Ochreous using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Testing out the bloghud from within Second life - testing!

posted by Doctoe Schnook on Ochreous using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tube Idol? YouTube's Underground music video competition

In an attempt to draw people's attention away from "copyright-infringing" content, YouTube has launched its Underground competition in "a quest to find the most talented and entertaining unsigned musicians and bands out there."

Submit videos that best represent your group's musical, lyrical and video-making skills. The YouTube community will vote and decide just who rules the YouTube Underground.

Submissions start on 2 Oct and close on 18 Oct.

If it is a success, it will no doubt grab the attention of the music industry and help YouTube convince advertisers to do big-money deals with them. Sponsored by Cingular too. Ideal phone fodder.*

*Bloomin good prizes actually.
9 months of gestation in 20 seconds

Ha - now we have the pregnancy timeshift! Kosso wanted his best mate to do that with his wife.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Renetto shows us Lonelygirl15 on NBC...

"LonelyGirl15 is doing for the YouTubes what Sopranos has done for the HBOs. Originol content, baby, here we come!", says he.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Officer Dan explains machinima

Here is a great little flick about machinima called Machinima! With Offier Dan by Amorphous Blob Productions. This is the future of games and film prodoction as entertainment, and so much more in my book. Check it out on

Imagine how skilled up kids would be, as our future knowledge workers, if they were encouraged to put their creative energies into learning about narratives, coding, architectures, social relations, economics and so on through machinima. The film and games industries would have a ball - even music and publishing industries would feel the effect of this ludic spray.

It brings together all the kinds of things we see happening across the networks - participatory media, citizen journalism, blogging, vlogging and podcasting - in a world that you can contruct yourself and share.

Far more interesting than a game you buy, a film spin off, which you can't do much with, and which doesn't let you play/connect with other people.

Take your avatar to work

More Figures
More Figures,
originally uploaded by MichaelBuckbee.
I have blogged about a 3D milling service which turns your in-world/game avatar and other objects into a dinky little physical object before.

Fabjectory here is another such service and although it is only for Second Life stuff at the moment, Michael Buckbee does say more coming soon. According to the FAQ:

The figures are built from a plaster material that is built up in layers to form the right shape. Texturally, the figures feel quite a bit like fine sandstone.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BlogHUD In the Grid

Check out this interview with Koz about his Second Life BlogHUD blogging tool, by Miller Copeland for In The Grid, a new in/outworld magazine.

They touch on the social networking application crossover potential of bloghud. I like the idea of keeping the tool free for the central community blog, which is a really useful resource, and charging a small one off fee (in Lindens, of course) to get the pro version which will let you post to your own blog you already have set up. Central hubs, as well as ludic sprays into other spaces are important.
A tour of Thomson NETg in Second Life

A pretty impressive campus has been built in Second Life by Thomson NETg, a corporate training firm. Very nice campus - this video offers a good tour. Heading into SL to bloghud it.

The Lonelygirl That Really Wasn’t - New York Times

The Lonelygirl That Really Wasn’t
story in the New York Times identifies the real LonelyGirl15 - 20-something Jessica, a film school grad. (Update: Check out this montage on YouTube of Jessica snaps).

But maybe the drama, mystery - the narrative - is still going on? Who's to say all this "being discovered" is not part of the on-going plot?! hehe.

Anyway, it says something interesting about the way we handle and probe notions of "authenticity" in a digital age and the tools that we can collectively use to hold people to account.
Kitty Nano

One of the top picks today on YouTube is a series of iPod Nano advert parodies. This has to be my favourite.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

42 Entertainment and the Beast

Here is what the company behind the Beast, the ARG in 2001 around AI, says about that particular campaign - 42 ENTERTAINMENT.

They are said to be linked to the same company said to be behind LonelyGirl15.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lonelygirl15 Press Conference

Genius. Watch the other three too.

Danah Boyd on lonelygirl15

Indeed, the "secret" of lonelyGirl15, one of YouTube's biggest stars is out. It is an experiment in performance - Danah Boyd has a good analysis of lonelygirl15.

It was about narratives, identity, and about the responses and the reactions it caused from YouTubers who were hooked. Now the mystery is gone, will it be as compelling? I doubt it.

You get the sense that everyone feels a bit deflated now that they all know they were right. Why bother engaging with it anymore if the mystery has gone?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Game Over (by PES)

A masterpiece.

Berkman course in Second Life

Check out the new course that Professor Nesson and his daughter at Berkman will be teaching - in RL, SL, and through all the media you want at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Watch the funny video intro. Good on them.

It is the first Harvard course to be open to the public as well as the the first Harvard course to be offered as an Extension/Distance education through SL.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another YouTuber does daily photo over the years thing

This time, it is Noah who apparently took a photo of himself every day for 6 years. doesn't look much older though... I would like to see a piss take of this.

Brian Flemming - mark of the devil?

Are you kidding me? Brian Flemming (I) (who I just blogged about below) was born 6/6/66??


(or is that like some in joke which everyone knows is a joke, except for very un-in people like me just cos I don't read arty shit?)

Crowley, Gibson, the occult, and LonelyGirl15

The mystery (or hype) surrounding YouTuber hot hit LonelyGirl15's authenticity has extended into the bizarro via Brian Flemming's Weblog.

I blogged about her last month in my kid geniuses or fakes post.

For some time, YouTubers have been crying foul about her and who she purports to be. Whatever is the "truth", I get sucked into the video responses and comments every time she posts.

But check out Brian F's musings. He links to William Gibson's most recent novel which I read ages ago - Pattern Recognition. I had forgotten about it until I spotted his post from Friday.

Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.
Indeed. Even Alice over at Wonderland is wondering whether LG15 is in fact an Alternate Reality Game.

In her latest video, LG15 talks about some religious ceremony she has been chosen to take part in. Her parents are not allowed to see her take part in it and she has to diet and "memorise stuff" for it.

Now this has just got the commenters cracking out the occultist conspiracies all over again. Religious rantings are dotted all over the shop. Brian F points out a number of inconsistencies to the "story" and her vids too - some of which I had not really noticed before. But most interesting is the theory that her religion is linked to occultist, Aleister Crowley. Indeed, one commenter suggested she was going to be taking part in this.*

What's great about this is that everyone wants to be detective and everyone has a theory. I spent a good two hours comparing the alleged Aleister Crowley photo on her wall with ones on Google images. That was after reading up on him and other occult/cult activities. (Update: I went back to the video on 6 August where you can see the picture - it is this one to the right. Check it out. It is above the candles at 1min 52 secs in)

God help me if my search history ever get published "by accident".

Whatever the truth is, whether it is a clever ARG, a marketing campaign, some clever kids having fun, or some cult's attempt to indoctrinate YouTubers, it's much more fun than the shite on telly.** And yes, by blogging about it, and hitting on all those Crowley pics, the "campaign" or whatever it is, is working innit.

*Oh, and remember her "friend" is called Daniel. Or DanielBeast on YouTube. Those subscribing to the "she's a satanist" theory are delighted with this.
**Well, in-between Kath and Kim, and Dragon's Den, that is.